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A New Flame - Chapter Four - The Sudden Twist
 By Moose   •   1st Jul 2014   •   1,654 views   •   0 comments
A New Flame

“What’s that?”

“Hey, Benjamin, focus here.” Elijah knelt down beside the young boy and held his tiny shoulders gently. “This is Flora.”

“She’s really tall.” Benjamin tipped his head back and gazed up at the horse.

“Yep, now listen, Jane is going to let you ride her.” Elijah explained.

“Yea?” Benjamin’s eyes got wide with excitement.

“Yes, now you just need to listen to what she tells you. Okay?”

Benjamin’s body straightened and, like a soldier taking orders, he nodded and looked up at the horse again. Jane stepped forward and leaned down, taking the little boy’s tiny hand. She lifted it slowly to Flora’s nose, “Let her smell you first.” Jane said softly, turning his hand over.

Benjamin watched curiously. “What-what are those hairs things on her-on her nose?”

Jane smiled, “Those hairs help Flora feel for things.”

“Like-like a bug?”

“Like a bug.”

“I-I know that. I know a lot-lot-lot about bugs.” Benjamin stated proudly.

Jane smiled and nodded, placing the tiny blue helmet on Benjamin’s head. She secured the chinstrap and shifted it back and forth, checking the tightness. Jane looked the little boy in the eye and spoke, “Are you ready?” she asked him.

Benjamin nodded.

“Elijah, could you help me get him up there?” Jane asked, turning around to face him.

Elijah grabbed Benjamin’s legs and lifted him into the air while Jane slid him forward and positioned his legs on Flora’s bareback. Benjamin grew a wide, toothy grin the second Elijah set him up on the horse. His big, brown eyes lit up like fireworks and moved a mile a minute as he looked around at the world from on top of Flora’s back.

Jane opened his fingers and placed them around a piece of Flora’s mane. “Hold on, okay?” she instructed.

“I’m-I’m so tall!” he remarked.

“Yes you are,” Jane laughed. Her loose curls spun as she turned to face Elijah
and smiled. Elijah watched Jane lead his little brother around the yard on top of the tall horse. He admired the way she turned around and smiled at Benjamin, a real, genuine smile.

When Benjamin had finally gone around the farm to his heart’s content, Jane helped him down from the horse’s back and holding his hand, she led him back to barn. Elijah waited, watching Jane interact with Benjamin, showing him where to put the halter and how to close the stall. Benjamin followed Jane back to the porch, where Elijah sat.

“Did you have fun, Benjamin?” Jane asked him as they strolled towards Elijah.

“Yea,” he answered, looking down at his hands.

“We’ll have to do this again sometime.”

After Benjamin nodded in agreement, Jane sat down next to Elijah on the porch steps and watched Benjamin wander towards the flower garden.

“I think Benjamin really had fun.” She said with a smile.

“Thank you so much for doing that, Jane.” Elijah smiled back.

The screen door opened with a creak and Jane’s mother stepped out. She glanced down at Elijah and Jane sitting on the porch steps and smiled. “Well, how did the ride go?” She asked curiously.

“I have never seen Benjamin so happy.” Elijah answered with a warm smile.

“Oh, that’s wonderful to hear.” Elise passed them and started in the direction of the garden before pausing and turning around to add, “Maybe you would like to stay for dinner? I’m making fresh salsa. Invite your whole family, we would love the company, right Jane?”

Jane’s cheeks grew hot and she began to clench her jaw as her mother went on.

“We would really like to repay you for the work you’ve been doing and for being there at the hospital.” Elise said before adding, “Think about it.”

Jane’s brows furrowed in confusion as her mother walked away. “What?” She said, facing Elijah.

Elijah rubbed his forehead with his hand and ran his fingers through his hair and over his neck. “I visited you in the hospital after the accident.” He admitted softly.

“Why would you do that? I didn’t even know you before the other day.” Jane began to unravel thoughts in her head. Her head began to spin and her heart started to pound.

“There’s something I haven’t told you.” Elijah said hesitantly.

Jane shook her head in confusion. She began to tip head slightly to one side, letting her blonde curls cascade over her shoulder. As Elijah stared back at Jane’s perfect, clueless face he couldn’t help but feel guilt. His stomach twisted and turned violently. He forced himself to tear his gaze away.

“Elijah?”

As hard as he tried, he couldn’t find the strength to say the words. After a long pause, Elijah finally pushed the words out of his mouth as quickly as possible. “I was driving.” He said, looking up to meet her eyes. “I was driving the truck that killed Andrew.”
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